“I just find that the more I wake up and find things to be appreciative about, they do reciprocate somehow,” McConaughey, 44, told ABC News’ Josh Elliott backstage at the Oscars. “Gratitude is a scientific fact.”-Matthew McConaughey
Trying to practice gratitude in a world where we learn NOT to accept satisfaction is not the easiest thing to do. So it was important for me to challenge myself to focus more on what’s good in my life as opposed to what I constantly strive for more of (money, relationship, and more stuff in general) Introducing….#Gratitude28. For the entire month of February, I kept a gratitude bowl each day sharing at least one thing I was grateful for. Sounds easy in theory but it ain’t. It started off great when unexpected phone calls led to more lucrative jobs. Since I freelance now as a singer, work is the prize you covet because you aren’t sure when it will come again. Gratitude was great when my relationship with LOML was on track. We are long distance and rarely is there not a timing conflict. But, there are moments when our schedule works perfectly and we Skype and completely focus on each other. Then comes the days of reality. Those when I was angry, tired, and lacking in the compassion department. Specifically, the walls crashed in on me when I found out the job I interviewed for in Houston didn’t pan out. To be clear, I’m trying to move closer to my boyfriend. So imagine the sting of getting the obligatory email. The one that says….”it was a difficult decision with so many suitable candidates but we decided to go with someone else.” Rejected. Sucks. No happiness anywhere. After too many moments of silence I admitted, I’m sad and the tears flowed. Gratitude says to look for the good even in the bad circumstances. Gratitude says to trust the process that’s teaching you patience and to persevere. That night, I wrote out thanks on a pink slip of paper ” I am grateful for the opportunity to interview.” Man, that hurt but as my the pen in my hand shook, I realized other companies I applied with didn’t even call to speak to me. The greater lesson? Being thankful helped me to shift my thinking to focusing on the possibilities. It wasn’t that I’m not qualified, it was the timing. I struggled a lot to write thanks some days because my vision was too clouded with disappointments. But forcing myself to focus on what I did have, from health to a calm, quiet place to call home took away my superficial “I must have this to be happy mantra.” I thanked God for where I was, trusting his process for me, and also remembered that this wasn’t the only opportunity I would ever have again. That’s an attitude adjustment.
#Gratitude28 disciplined my scatterbrained focus. I’m great at starting projects only to get sidetracked and halfway complete them. I stuck to this not only because it was my idea but I saw my attitude changing in my moments of disappointment. The more I focus on the possibilities, the more they opened up. I’m a girl who used to dwell in her pain like she was taking a bath. I’m working my way out of that because there’s too little time to miss out on what’s really for you. Each time I wrote down a blessing, they stuck with me more. Each time I gave thanks, another opportunity appeared. I didn’t get the job in Houston, but got three more singing in Florida soon after. Gratitude reciprocates itself. #Gratitude28 is over but I still have my bowl and write out moments of thanks. The biggest change I see is in my attitude. I notice the positive around my and in my friends and take less for granted. Nothings perfect, life isn’t magically wonderful, but I’m focused on the possibility and belief it will work out exactly how God has planned it.
I Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Notice it didn’t say, only when things are great but in every situation. Practicing gratitude will definitely change your attitude.